Working abroad through staff exchange – a case study

November 22, 2018


Donna Maas is just back from an internship at Spry Roughley in Parramatta, Australia!

Driven by a strong desire to explore diverse ways of working and new cultures, she wished to acquire, within a foreign company, a hands-on experience to complete her training. She tells us about this rewarding experience, as well as Anne Roughley, director at Spry Roughley.

Donna Maas - Maas Accountants (The Netherlands)

"I started as an assistant accountant at Maas Accountants almost six years ago. At that time I had just finished my bachelor degree in hotel- and event management and did not have a bright vision about what kind of career I wanted to have.
I did not expect that I would like this job as much as I do! Eventhough my father is a chartered accountant, I had not considered following his footsteps before I started working at Maas Accountants. Now I definitely do: I am studying to become a chartered accountant and working hard to become partner at Maas Accountants one day. 

I had a great experience at Spry Roughley because I have learned so much during my time at this firm. To work in accounting firm abroad gave me an insight of a different company culture and brought me more professional knowledge about audit. It also allowed me to improve my English vocabulary. Providing information and sharing knowlegde to everyone within the firm is a priority at Spry Roughley and that is exactly what I have experienced. 

I am very grateful to both Spry Roughley and Maas Accountants that I was given this opportunity which will definitly contribute to my further career as an accountant."

Anne Roughley - Spry Roughley (Australia)

"To date we have had the pleasure of hosting 5 interns from INAA.  We all learn from the experience and observe differences in culture and practice.  The transferee from an INAA firm is free to ask all of the hard questions about practices, processes and management in our firm that they would not be able to ask if they were from a potentially competitor firm in their home city. 
This open sharing of information is a two-way street – we also seek to understand the different approaches that the home firm of the transferee adopts as we often learn alternative ways to do things, or learn from different insights into the way we approach things. This has been very valuable to us in the past, and that has ranged from insights into a better method of apportioning materiality across consolidated groups through to managing client accounting assignments more efficiently. The transferees have access to our IP and we have shared thinks like our tailored audit Excel workbook tools and shortcuts menu to our assignment evaluation processes and our post assignment review methodology, amongst others.
As to our latest experience, our team loved having Donna bring an external viewpoint and energy to our audit assignments.  As a transferee who had experienced audit in another setting she was able to bring an alternate viewpoint and energy to the work we do and the way we do it.   At a firm level we really enjoyed the sharing of ideas and how technology applications benefit both of us. Donna was also able to talk objectively to our staff about what she saw as the benefits available of working at Spry Roughley – a perspective that alludes many younger employees who have not had an opportunity to work with another firm. Sharing such insights can be very positive and reaffirming.
Donna was a wonderful ambassador for Maas Accountants!  In so many ways it seemed as though she had been a member of our staff for ages – obviously well trained but also a fun, gregarious person.  We hope she is now having a fabulous holiday in the rented campervan travelling around Australia.

We would love to hear from other INAA members if they would like the same opportunity for a promising staff member in the future."